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Chicago-based Oscar-maker Owens to lay off 95 employees

Oscar statuettes various stages plating sit work bench R.S. Owens   Company February 9 2012 Chicago Illinois. R.S. Owens

Oscar statuettes in various stages of plating sit on a work bench at R.S. Owens & Company February 9, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. R.S. Owens manufactures the Oscar statuettes which are presented at the annual Academy Awards by the Academy of Motion Picture

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Updated: January 7, 2013 7:16AM

Less than a month after announcing its acquisition by an Indianapolis-based company, the Northwest Side business most famous for producing the Academy Award’s Oscar statuettes is laying off nearly 100 employees.

R.S. Owens will lay off 95 workers Dec. 17, according to a report filed with the state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. That’s also the date the acquisition of the 74-year-old company by St. Regis Crystal goes into effect. The report said the job cuts would be permanent.

A company representative was not available for comment Wednesday.

The Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) report listed 2,590 layoffs, including these area businesses:

† 70 jobs, Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant, which the report said is closing its 521 N. Rush restaurant.

† 76 jobs, Carson Pirie Scott department store in the River Oaks Mall in Calumet City, which is closing. The plans to close the store were announced in August.

† 70 jobs, Kmart store, 345 W. Roosevelt Road in Lombard, which is closing.

† 492 jobs, U.S. Cellular’s Bolingbrook location. The company announced last month that while it would keep its Chicago headquarters and 1,400 area workers, it would eliminate 640 jobs.

When St. Regis Crystal’s acquisition of Owens was announced in November, the companies said they would continue to manufacture Owens’ products at its Chicago location.

Besides the Oscars, Owens — which called itself “the largest manufacturer of premier awards in the world” — has produced awards for the Emmys, “American Idol,” the Cotton Bowl, Pepsi 500 race, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“We take pride in our skilled union artisans and our commitment to American-made products,” the company states on its website.

The WARN report did not state if the layoffs were union positions and said the cause of the layoffs was not provided by the company.

In November, when the firms announced the acquisition, they said decorating and fulfillment of catalog items will be done out of the St Regis’ headquarters in Indianapolis. Plans also include introducing the R.S Owens line into Canada, through the St. Regis facility in Toronto.

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